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Law Offices of Shane Smith

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Q
I was hit by a drunk driver in Norcross. What can I expect my role to be in both the criminal and civil cases?

A

Most Norcross drunk driving victims do not have much involvement in the criminal proceedings because it is the state’s case against the offender for driving intoxicated and violating state law. The prosecuting attorney for the state may have you testify at trial or offer a Victim Impact Statement before the sentencing or punishment is handed down. The offender generally will receive a fine payable to the state, lose his or her driver’s license, and be sentenced to community service, probation, or sometimes jail time, if found guilty. However, your role in the criminal trial is minor.

Keep in mind that a criminal case is very different than a civil suit. If your chose to sue the drunk driver for damages, this lawsuit will take place in civil court, and you—the plaintiff—will play a large role in these proceedings. The goal of a criminal suit is to punish the offender, whereas the desired outcome of a civil suit is financial compensation for the victim, which can include damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

The civil process will take more of your time and energy than the criminal trial because you will be required to be involved in these proceedings. However, by hiring the right lawyer, he or she can file a personal injury claim on your behalf and save you from being overwhelmed. For help with your Norcross personal injury lawsuit, call the Law Offices of Shane Smith to learn about your rights in a free consultation at 770-HURT-999 today.

Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia